Conservation status
Doing OK

Kōtare are fearless and aggressive when it comes to food and family. They don't slow down when it comes to the breeding season, using their dagger-like beaks to tunnel into soft tree trunks or clay banks to build nests. Mum takes a short rest when nurturing their young, with dad in charge of providing food and sometimes even attacking other birds and mammals.

Campaign Manager

Kevin Joyce

Kōtare, the Sacred King’s Fisher. The Polynesians treat it as sacred as it is said to rule the waves. We call them Lucky, because we nurtured a juvenile that fell from its cliff nest at Hihi Beach Mangonui and eventual release. It was not easy feeding it every hour! So they are sacred to our Whanau.

The flight of the Kingfisher is very distinctive with rapid beats of their wings, fast gliding, and speed and directness of aim to their destination. Most times they will fly at speed with accuracy to their prey, and then return to their elevated perch from which they can look for more prey, or to the nest to feed their young.

The native New Zealand Sacred Kingfisher, has a shining green-blue back and cap, along with the thick black bill that distinguishes it from other species.

It is majestic, sacred, a king and deserves your vote!


Photo: Craig McKenzie